The Hang Seng Index (HSI) surged 1.25% on Thursday to reach a record high of 21,954.67 with the H-share index gaining 2.54% to hit 12,207.97, the South China Morning Post reported. The substantial gain was driven by news that mainland brokerages and fund managers would be permitted to invest in foreign stocks and other financial products under the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) scheme. Last month, mainland banks also received regulatory approval to invest funds in overseas securities. Mainland investors' familiarity with the Hong Kong market means it will likely be the destination of the bulk of QDII money. Therefore, foreign players are buying in before July 5, when the measure is implemented, in anticipation of substantial gains. The rise was led by blue chips, with China Mobile jumping 2.43%, China Life 6.34% and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing 7.2%.